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10 Ways We Are Messing Up Our Social Media Efforts (Part 2)

10 Ways We Are Messing Up Our Social Media Efforts (Part 2)-1

Our AlphaGraphics Social Media Activities Can Use a Lot of Improvement In Promoting Our Printing Business

I spent the last couple of days reading “Inbound Marketing” by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I was attracted to this book because I am a fan of David Meerman Scott and he highly endorsed this book. I will say that, at first, I thought the book to be a little simplistic since I have been studying this area for awhile. However, as I got deeper and deeper into the book, I started to think about all the good advice that I was not following. I wish I had read this book a few months ago before I started on my Social Media journey I highly recommend this book to everyone who is trying to figure out how to market their business in this new Web 2.0 age. It does lay out the steps you should take in a very systematic way. Based upon my reading, here are the things I am doing wrong in my inbound marketing activities. You can read the first 5 listed items in last week’s blog. These are the last 5 out of 10 items.

6.  I Have No Mechanism to Touch My Prospects When They Are Not Yet Ready To Buy
We contact prospects and leads, we talk to them, we give them quotes on printed products when they ask for them. However, if they are not ready to buy from us at that point, we don’t really maintain a way to keep in touch with them until they are ready to buy.  We do try and put them on our monthly email marketing list but there is no process of touching these people in a special way.  From my reading, I do believe that it is important that our prospects that are not ready to buy at this point, are contacted on at least a monthly basis and that at the end of a pre-determined point such as six months, we give them a call.

7.  I Am Not Controlling My Databases
We have customer, prospect and lead information all over the place and it is not well controlled in any of our locations.  We need an integrated database of contact information and within this database, we need to have as much information on each contact as possible.  For existing customers, we need to document and summarize their buying habits so we can better serve them in the future and for prospects and leads, we need to be able to document each contact we have made with them, how we obtained the lead and how we plan on continuing to contact them.

8. I Am Not Analysing The Success of Each of My Marketing Channels
Actually, this was the biggest Ah Ha moment I experienced from Inbound Marketing.  I have seen the sales funnels many times before in many sales books and in many contact management systems but I have never put much credibility in them.  What I learned from Inbound Marketing is that there needs to be several of the sales funnels for each operation.  Each funnel is designated by how the lead is generated or obtained.  Marketing channels differ from each other in terms of success rates and time to close and once those differences are identified, then an analysis can be made as to how cost effective each marketing channel is in getting to the sale.  By doing this, the more inefficient marketing channels can be reduced or eliminated and more time and money can be devoted to the more productive areas.  Some of the marketing channels (funnels) I foresee setting up are: leads from cold calls, SEM efforts, website (SEO) efforts, telemarketing calls and targeted companies (Book of Lists).

9. I Am Not Analysing the Reach of My Social Media Efforts
One of the great things about Social Media, is that you can measure your reach fairly easy.  How many followers do you have on Twitter, how many first time visitors to you have to your webpage, how many calls and emails do you get from your SEM efforts, how many fans do you have on your company FaceBook page, how many subscribers do I have for my blog and how many connections do you have on LinkedIn. I measure none of that although the information is readily available. It is time to start setting up my charts and showing how my efforts are being rewarded by the growth in reach.

10.  I Am Trying To Do This All Myself
In these economic times, keeping down our payroll costs is critical to the growth and survival of my three AlphaGraphics centers. So I am doing almost all of the marketing and social media efforts on my own.  I am not a trained marketing person, but I am learning rapidly about what I need to do to promote my business in this day and age. I do know, that as the economy improves, I will be looking for someone to help me in my Social Media efforts, both from a creative and technical standpoint.  Doing all of this is kind of fun, but I know, from experience that I will get bored fairly rapidly.  As I always say, my next employee will be hired to do what I am currently doing.

You can always contact us at the following AlphaGraphics websites:

AlphaGraphics Mesa Printing and Marketing       FaceBook Fan Page
AlphaGraphics Tempe Printing and Marketing     FaceBook Fan Page
AlphaGraphics Phoenix Printing and Marketing   FaceBook Fan Page

Twitter: @steveadams291
LinkedIn: stepheneugeneadams

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  1. Oh man, Steve!

    All 10 of your “I’m doing it wrong” list are great! I mean, not that you’re doing them, but that you can see them, understand why they’re lame (no offense), and that you can take steps to correct them (in order of importance.)

    And each item has lots of ways to be set right; easy, effective, DIY ways. And this is a GREAT starter for several campaigns I can think of off the top of my head that will greatly move you forward —

    This list is an ideal starter for a “Free Report” that ALL small business bloggers/site owners can relate to: “9 Internet Mistakes That Are Murdering Your Business” (or substitute “Social Media” for “Internet” if your readers are semi-savvy.) Yes, you have 10 — which is the surprise to the reader — you want to surprise them with an extra something — and links, resources, checklists, how-tos, etc, are great for that too.

    And these 10 items are perfect teasers for twitter — do you use TweetDeck? The new version lets you write and schedule tweets for sending later, when you’re doing chores or with clients — like TweetLater.com, but a little simpler and right in your twitter client. I love it, you may too.

    And you know that a good twitter form is
    “Give/Give/Love/Wave”

    Yes, I made it up, but it’s true!
    GIVE a useful tweet
    GIVE a useful tweet
    LOVE some other tweeter
    WAVE at everyone to get attention for yourself, with a link to a post, a personal tidbit, a funny POV, a link to a photo in your album, etc.

    The way to GIVE is to share a link to a tool you like, a post you loved & commented on, a site that can help others, a timely news tip for your followers, etc. NOT to your own ANYTHING.

    A good way to LOVE is with a personalized RT of someone (with a huge following) that tweets something you agree with, or don’t… add your POV and clarify why you’re RTing it… like, maybe, you’d find a tweet in my stream where a blogger thanks me for my great advice and you’d RT that and add “She helped me too, wow!” before or after the original tweet.

    Other LOVE is to visit a follower’s bio and compliment something in it; to thank a tweeter for introducing you to someone they #FF, by offering a #FF with your own reason why you follow that person… you get it. My stream is a great example (*batting eyelashes modestly*), or so I’m told ~ !

    I could advise on each of them, but let me start with a quick easy one you can do RIGHT NOW:
    Change your twitter name to AlphaGraphics right now (if it’s not taken — let me know if it is and I’ll suggest other smart choices to try.)
    You WON’T lose your tweets, your followers, your history — nothing! Go to twitter.com and look for their help or FAQ or just google “how to change my twitter name” — it’s easy!

    BUT do it like this:
    1 — start tweeting a few times a day for a few days that you’re planning a name change, don’t leave me, it’s still me, make light of it, blame the weak name on losing a bet with your dog, ask for ideas of new names — you get it — engage.
    2 — you DO want to keep your avatar the same for awhile during the transition.
    3 — DO keep your real name as the “name” and just change your “@name” to something short, catchy, maybe keyword related.
    4 — Blog about it before, during and after — and I mean everywhere: your LinkedIn page, your FB page, your Twitter Bio for a week… and yes, your Blog, your About Page, etc.

    Okay — gotta get back to making a living giving advice that WAS asked for — ha! — but just wanted to stop by after seeing your comment on Outspoken Media’s blog in Lisa’s smart post comments on comment trolls.

    Good luck with it, buddy —

    OH! Just got another idea for you — I’ll go leave it in Part I, so it doesn’t get jealous… !

    ~ GirlPie

  2. GirlPie, thanks for the positive comments. I do see that you found my WordPress account which shows that I am addressing some of my issues. (Made the switch this week.) For now, I am going to keep my twitter name. I have grown fond of it and I think it adds a personal touch and people seem to be finding me. Keep up the good work and I will start following you on Twitter.

    Steve

  3. If “some” of your issues was to get out to other blogs and leave comments saying that you wish you had more comments and love to get them, then okay — I only found your site (not your “WP account”) because I read that comment you’d left on some other blog… and that IS a good way of getting found, if you’re helpful and smart about it. So when you comment on blogs where your “right people” might also visit, make sure to say something as smart and useful there as you do in this 2-parter…

    I stand by the advice to change your twitter handle (and why isn’t it right here in your author’s bio with your other contacts?! — since you can do so at no risk whatsoever. Your current followers won’t drop you, you keep your photo, you keep your real name in the account (it shows up next to your handle in your bio, in lists, etc.), and you can retain a “personal touch” by using your name w/o the numbers…

    But, your call, obviously ~

    Good luck, and I’ll see ya ’round the interwebs,

    ~GirlPie

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